Using the Place Profiler for Cultural Organisations

The West Midlands Cultural Place Profiler was created by Baker Richards and Indigo in 2021 for the following Commissioning Partners: Arts Council England, Birmingham 2022 Organising Committee of the Commonwealth Games, Birmingham City Council (BCC), Culture Central, Coventry City of Culture, DCMS, Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP, West Midlands Combined Authority, West Midlands Growth Company.

This simplified version of the WM Place Profiler has been made available for cultural organisations to use.

The full version also includes captured (ticketed) levels of cultural engagement and is available to the commissioning partners. If you think you should have access to the full version, contact .

Unlocking the cultural makeup of the West Midlands

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Created by Indigo and Baker Richards, the WM Cultural Place Profiler in an interactive tool designed to examine cultural engagement levels across the West Midlands.

Both at a local level and for the region as a whole, the Place Profiler allows for interrogation of the demographic and geographic factors that may influence cultural engagement in a place and how they relate to each other. It shows where areas across the region share similar characteristics and may therefore have similar challenges, as well as the huge disparities and differences from place to place.

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Included in the simplified Place Profiler is:

  • WM Cultural Engagement Score – a single measure of ‘cultural engagement’ created by Baker Richards and Indigo. It has been derived by analysing multiple sources of cultural engagement data to identify key demographic predictors and indexing the results to show the spread of engagement by area.

  • Population Estimates – demographic and population estimates released in September 2019 by the Office for National Statistics. These include age, ethnicity, employment, social grade and more.

  • Cultural Infrastructure map – supplied by Hatch (2021) this includes all the cultural infrastructure – such as theatres, arts centres, community spaces, concert halls – throughout the West Midlands.

These are presented in various tables and maps which can be filtered by different criteria.

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The Place Profiler covers three geographic areas:

  • Area 1: Birmingham

  • Area 2: West Midlands Combined Authority area (minus Birmingham) – includes Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall, Wolverhampton

  • Area 3: Wider West Midlands area (minus WMCA and Birmingham) – includes Bromsgrove, Cannock Chase, East Staffs, Lichfield, North Warwickshire, Nuneaton and Bedworth, Redditch, Rugby, Stratford-upon-Avon, Tamworth, Warwick, Wyre Forest

You can select each of the main areas and also drill down into the Local Authorities included.

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The Place Profiler is designed to empower cultural organisations in the West Midlands to more fully understand their local population, to better target their work and serve their communities.

It enables you to focus on a particular geographical area to understand both the level of cultural engagement in that area and how the demographics of that area’s population compare with the West Midlands as a whole.

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Navigating the dashboard

Finding your way around the simplified WM Place Profiler. An overview of the information available, and tips for exploring it.

The area overview

Explore the varied demographic profile of areas, and make comparisons to regional and national benchmarks. Introducing the at-a-glance WM Cultural Engagement Score, a unique index of engagement and participation.


How does cultural engagement vary by geography? Explore a range of metrics and how they map on to the West Midlands area – start at a birds’-eye view, and zoom down to MSOAs (Middle Super Output Areas)

Access to the Place Profiler

To request access, contact Culture Central at specifying the email addresses you would like to have access.

If you do not already have a Power BI Pro license, you’ll be prompted to start a free trial (no payment details required) when you first access the Profiler*. This will give you access for up to 60 days.

After 60 days, contact your administrator to purchase a Power BI Pro license. If your organisation does not have Microsoft 365, you may find it easier to sign up for a personal Power BI Pro license.

When your request is approved you’ll be notified and you will be able to log in the dashboard with your Power Bi credentials straight from this page.

* If you have previously had a Power BI Pro 60 day free trial, you will be prompted to purchase a valid license.

Unlocking data to support decision making

Do you have questions?

For support on using the Place Profilers, please contact

Baker Richards and Indigo are working extensively with organisations like yours to create audience and income strategies for 2022 and beyond.